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Miscalculating one’s enemies: Russian intelligence prepares for war

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Chapter Summary

Military intelligence constitutes one of the “blank spots” in modern Russian history to which historians have devoted increasing attention since the collapse of the Soviet Union. After 1991, a thirst for “the truth” about lesser-known aspects of Russian preparation for war benefited from accessibility to once forbidden materials, spawning a number of studies on Russian and Soviet military intelligence. With the centenary of 1904–05 now upon us, intelligence preparation for the Russo-Japanese War has increasingly figured in various studies. And, indeed the Russo-Japanese War presents special problems for students of military intelligence. This chapter provides fresh insight into the above-mentioned fundamental problems on the basis of archival-based research and a mixture of traditional and new materials. The thesis holds that the overall quality of Russian military and naval intelligence about the Japanese was uneven, but probably better than might have been expected, especially with regard to the Japanese navy.

Keywords: Japanese army; Japanese navy; Military intelligence; Russian intelligence; Russian military; Russo-Japanese War; Soviet Union



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